Gov’t Shutdown won’t Shutdown Freedom’s Run
The call was made officially at Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting.
Organizers decided to re-route the annual Freedom’s Run marathon as a result of the continued federal government shutdown of all related facilities, including national parks.
The traditional Freedom’s Run route took runners through Harpers Ferry National Park, the C&O Canal, Antietam National Battlefield and the Potomac Heritage Trail.
The new race route will begin in downtown Shepherdstown on German St. and move down River road along the Potomac, winding its way toward its conclusion at Knott Road, near Bakerton.
Those participating in the half marathon will make one loop and the full marathon runners, will loop around the course twice.
Mark Cucuzzella, one of the race organizers, said the anticipation for the event was simply too high to consider canceling it.
“We have runners coming from 40 states,” he said.
Cucuzzella said support to keep the event in place has been far reaching, and the response from the residents living on River Road has been mostly positive.
“The folks on River road. have been very inviting,” he said.
River Rd. will be blocked off during scheduled races to everyone except local traffic on Saturday morning.
Plans were made to alert all the road’s residents about the race, including the distribution of fliers and the placement of signage along the roadway beforehand.
Cucuzzella and a team of volunteers lined the street with about 2000 oranges cones on Friday evening to mark off the track.
At the Town Council meeting Tuesday, Mayor Jim Auxer suggested a staging area for runners be included in the new race plan.
Runners will gather on King St. in front of Town Hall before lining the start line on German St.
As in years past, the race will end in Ram Stadium on Shepherd University’s campus.
Cucuzzella said that despite the fact that many other major marathons have been canceled around the country due to the government furlough, he knew Freedom’s Run had to go on.
“The easy thing to do is to say ‘forget about it,'” he said.
“I think its kind of a thing of pride.”
“We’re going to stand up and do it,” he said.
County and local Police and EMS employees will be on hand to assist on marathon day.
Police and race marshalls will be lined along the new route for increased safely.
The ‘Kids Fun Run’ will take place along German St. at 11 a.m. as usual.
The marathon begins at 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning, followed by the half marathon at 8:30, the 10k at 8:50 and the 5k at 9 a.m.
For more information about the anual race and this year’s alternate route, visit www.FreedomsRun.org.